The small planet of XX has constantly puzzled astronomers who are unable to make any sense of its constantly shifting location on the cosmic charts.
Other less lofty minds pay this oddity no heed, choosing instead to focus on the search for more more promising worlds to colonise and tame.
But unknown to the race of men, a ferocious rival lurks in the black depths of space, constantly on the hunt....
In the ancient past, she was not as she is now. Much eludes her powers of recall, but that much she remembers. In those all but forgotten days, she was not a hunter forever on the search for prey to feed and sustain herself. Nay, she was beautiful back then, lush and vibrant. This much she knows of the lost times.
And there is something else that she will not forget either. The memory of that horrid agony will never leave her, the unendurable torment of having her very essence ravaged and ripped apart by that horrible inferno hurtling towards her as inexorable as an asteroid bent on utter annihilation and devastation. The horrible apocalypse that followed afterwards, the complete eradication of all life, the terrible trauma of hearing millions of its beloved creations perish in the most twisted pain shortly afterwards, their terrified voices ringing in her vast collective conscience as they begged their protector to save them, pleading with her to spare her own flock, and at last, when the extinction of all they had known, dawned on them as an unavoidable fate, their furious laments demanding to know what terrible sin they had committed for her to condemn them all to destruction. All this she remembers with a clarity so powerful and intense, it still hurts, after countless millenia have passed.
Everything that she treasured, all that she loved and adored, is gone now, consumed forever in the great tragedy , a disaster that consumed and devoured all the life she had consciously conceived and nurtured for eons, watching over the progress and devolution of her creations the way a mother would over her child..
She is a hunter, but not by her own will. Hear for yourselves, how what was once a most benign avatar of creation was perverted into a destroyer the entire galaxy should fear.
Learn for yourselves the true story of what you dismiss as Unknown xxx,sons of men. And pray to your collective gods that its hunger does not draw it towards your own world.
At a time when the world we know as earth was still inert and mute, as of yet devoid of the divine light from the heavens that would bring with the seeds of life and creation, the planet you so scorn as a barren, irrelevant oddity, was home to a thriving and advanced culture. Hundreds of celebrants flocked to great temples of shimmering gold and mercury, to offer oblations and sacrifices to the massive, gilded idols of Mother Gunar, life-giver and guardian of every living thing that inhabited the crevices of her massive body. Monolithic, multi-limbed statues of the goddess gazed with a serene smile upon hordes of prostrate and keeling devotees as they begged her to harness her great and unlimited power to answer the most heartfelt and desperate prayers of her children. In times when rain was scarce and the crops threatened to wither and die, the faithful would flock to the sanctuaries, bearing on their shoulders the cringing and terrified forms of the guilty and sinful, they who had lived throughout their entire lives by plundering from the good and virtuous what they had earned through their own unremitting toil, and used the hard-gained fortunes of their victims to fuel and sate their own, greedy, parasitic existence. But as relentless as the will of the all-seeing Goddess, destiny would inevitably catch up with them, and these authors of so much misery and death, would be doomed to someday find their own violent ends staring them right in their bulging eyes, as they watched with mute horror the bronze knives poised to slit their throats and spill their tainted blood into the great steel vessel Of Homages nestled between the the exquisite, massive arms of the idol of the Goddess.
As the wretched souls of these unrepentant sinners were casually pried away from the fleshy husks for which they had shed so much innocent life to pamper and feed, these accursed specters would find themselves drawn into her ruthless and unyielding grip. Slowly, with ever so much patience, she would begin leaching them of their ashuron, that sublime core of life essence that the forces of creation themselves had imparted to every living things to have ever sprung into existence. And so they crumbled into nothingness, the very spiritual essence seized from these unworthy ones by the Goddess who used what she had taken from the undeserving to save the lives of the just and pious, as she reaching deep within the newly acquired reserves of ashuron to command the rains to fall with a furious deluge upon her parched surface, and the crops to grow straight and tall, forestalling the onset of a devastating famine.
Loved and adored by all who had cause to appeal to her power,she was a divinity who fulfilled all their needs and wants, never suffering them to starve so long as her priests provided her with the ashuron taken from the greedy, selfish ones that has so callously abused the sacred gift of life that the forces of creation had given them upon their moment of birth.
You understand then, sons of men, that this was more than a mere planet.
What you see now as a barren, dead mass idly drifting through space was once perhaps the most beneficent avatar of nature and creation one will ever discover in the entire universe. For what other planet in existence has taken such a keen interesting in the well-fare of the masses of petty beings that squirm on its surface like masses of oblivious insects?
Alas,what had bee true for countless eons was not meant to endure for eternity.
A night came when it fell from the black sky, blazing like a flame against the dark heavens. At first she paid it no heed, dismissing it as a dying star determined to extinguish its waning existence in a final blaze of light and fire. Memories stretching back into the very void of time, assured her that there was no cause for alarm or fear. Many of these waning celestials had extinguished the last embers of their rapidly crumblings forms in the soil clothing her body, leaving nothing more in their wake more destructive than the occasional craters which marred her. These she had long accepted as the inevitable and natural order to the universe, for she was not unduly vain.
It was not until the abomination had descended upon her that she realized the true nature of the horror that had fallen upon her. A vast, seething entangled mass of myriad tentacles and giant orbs that blazed a hellish red, it seemed to surround the mass of an entire planet completely, effectively blinding the eyes of its denizens to the rest of existence. The titanic form of the beast alight with the toxic, burning halo that wreathed it, it gazed at her with its vile eyes, maliciously sharing the intent of its assault with her in a silent, secret communication that everyone else on the doomed world was deaf to. In one savage moment, the fiend slammed into her with such brutal, massive force that most of the planet's crust was ripped off by the sheer force of the assault. Over half of the planet's population perished in in the first few seconds alone that followed the collision, as the raging coils of the demonic invader seized the goddess in their terrible grip and laid waste to entire swaths of this lush, prosperous world. Multitudes screamed as flames borne of the monster reduced them to ashes within mere moments, consuming and devouring all in their path.
The survivors that had survived the initial slaughter, soon begun to fall where they stood, gasping out their last breath as the horror unleashed its deadly breath, smothering the hapless wretches with its foul venom.
Plants and animals alike rapidly perished in the terrible conflagration brought about by this final death-blow. And in the breadth of no less than a few seconds, an entire planet perished, all life that had previously existed on it, stamped out by an evil so vast and alien that its very victims died ignorant of what had snuffed them out.
But the planet herself survived. Violently shorn of all that she had lovingly nurtured and cherished, there was yet a part of her that found herself unable to sink into the oblivion of the inferno, compelled against her will to cling on to existence in spite of the dead, scarred mass that had once been her. As one of you might say, the mind yet remained, though the body was but a charred corpse now.
And you ask what it was that held her fast to her maimed remains?
As in her previous existence life, she found herself bound to answer the entreaties of her devotees. The faith that had remained strong throughout their lives, continued past the moment of their annihilation as the bereft souls surrounded her with the force of their devotion and wrath, both begging and commanding in unison for her to give her back the ashuron she had stolen from them. The wretched things simply had no way of comprehending the true author of the apocalypse that had caused their destruction and that now confined to them their former home as energy starved spirits which now blindly blamed their once beloved goddess for the all dominating hunger that held them in its terrible grip, refusing to release them for the after-life to claim.
Her mind invaded by the furious yet tearful appeals of the ones he loves, she despaired, and surrendered her fate to th higher forces of the universe, entreating them as her devotees entreated her, to find a solution to both her misery and theirs.
As fate would have it, her prayers were answered. But not by those to whom she had addressed her desperate prayer.
A sinister presence had invaded her mind. Foul and loathsome, it pervaded the surviving fragments of her essence with such excruciating pain and terror that she screamed for it to begone. But it merely laughed contemptuously at her in response, a silent, terrible laugh that made her tremble with the depth and magnitude of the evil inherent in it. And then it begun to speak.
In a voice so all-consuming that she could no more silence it than a stray space-vessel can defy the the irresistible pull of a black-hole, it offered her the solution she had sought.
The hungry souls now dwelling upon her would never cease their torment of her, it warned, unless she could feed their unholy appetite for the life energy that they so craved. Unless she sated their hunger, they would continue to enslave her with the power of their tainted devotion, holding her forever accountable for the catastrophe that had so casually ended their lives.
But that goal could be accomplished. With its help, she would be able to minster to the needs of her people once again. All that was required of her was she search for another world filled with sentient life. And once she had approached that unspoiled haven, it would generously assist her in draining the energy of every single being on this foreign worlds, their vitality and strength racing through its own mass as it moved to encircle their common prey, channeling all of it to feed the spectral masses of the destitute that she housed.
Horrified at first by the twisted alliance the abomination proposed, it dawned on her reluctantly that she had little choice but to obey. This monstrous presence was undoubtedly the same parasite that had ravaged and violated her, but she was to weak too harbor any foolish thoughts of defiance. All she desired was the bliss of oblivion. A bliss that would elude her until the hungry dead had glutted themselves with the stole life force of living beings from whom they had once been not so different.
And slowly she wrenched herself free of the the axis that had anchored since the day of the universe had brought her into existence, driven by an unimaginable power that was not hers, No, that power flowed from the evil that had murdered and corrupted everything she had ever loved. She was no longer a planet now, anchored eternally in the orbit of its nearest sun. She was something else now, a large, humongous land-mass that could move across the empty reaches of space, driven to roam by the cancer infesting her very core.
And what had once been a living planet and more, what had in fact formerly been a divinity given form, now moved towards the nearest inhabited planet as swift as a space-xraft soaring at the speed of light.
Peering up at the night sky, the inhabitants of Xorkon found themselves immediately ceasing whatever they were doing, open-mouthed awe rendering them passive spectators as they witnessed what appeared to be a large floating land-mass looming ever larger in their eyes. What they were witnessing with their own eyes could not possibly exist for it was a travesty that mocked all the laws of nature that science and religion had drummed into their minds since birth. And yet there it was. A planet sized formation was undeniably approaching their ever closer to their home-world's orbit. All reason in the world had fled, replaced with this lunatic phenomenon that no scientist among them could have barely begun to understand, let alone explain to his befuddled country-men. Then their world erupted in fire, massive tentacles of liquid flame racing across the entire planet to lay waste to every living thing in its path. The final thing the unfortunate people of Xorkon saw before death claimed every one of them, were the burning red orbs of the misshapen behemoth as it reached out it numerous arms to seize its unfortunate prey, a creature so bloated with evil and malice that it seemed as if it had been spawned from the darkness of the collective nightmare of the universe itself.
When dawn shone its red light over the planet of Xorkon the next day, it revealed an empty, blighted land-scape. In the space of a single night, an entire planet had been leached dry of all organic life.
You see my human friends, predator has fused with prey to form an entirely new entity, one that attempts to assuage a hunger that can never be sated. Regardless of the all life-energy that she drains from other worlds to feed the dead and her monstrous master, their numbers always increase, the victims of the worlds she murders, joining the starving masses of starving ghosts that are unable to ever satisfy their hunger for the life-force running through living beings like you and me. This is a planet of the damned, a behemoth of a vampire that hopes to release itself from the curse that rules it, only to unwittingly prolong it with every life it takes. Pray that it never encounters your own home-world, for to do so would mean your addition to the unhappy ranks of the eternally hungry stalking that unhappy world.
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? Responses (8)
Poor thing, a vampire planet.
While the idea of the planet eater isn't new (Unicron, Galactus come to mind) it is the execution and imagry that make this submission shine. Of course it requires the core concept of living planets, and by extension other celestial bodies being alive. Though the bit about waning celestials expending their lives in a blaze of fire and glory before craching into her was a lovely image.
On the other hand there are some really bad typos in this submission and It feels like it was rushed. I would recommend running the spell check and possibly breaking up the text with some bolded headers and turning some of the example dialogs into italic text.
holy cow! yeah, the imagery and the details elevate this from being one of Galactus' relatives :)
basically, what Scras said! Great work, Maggot!
Hmm, you dont have access to a Spell Checker, do you? All your subs, even the great ones, seem to have that slight "un-edited" feel.
Anyhoo, memorable planet!
There are some interesting applications and imagry here. There is a lot to be said for this post.
It does need a bit more editing. The story needs more context, as to whom is saying it to whom. Our narrator is? And why?
I found the name offputting and disjointed with the rest of the post. XX sits as a place sitter, rather than a designation.
Nothing to add to what has been said other then to say Great Job!
I apologise for the lack of bold headings. It seems that whenever I try to highlight a few words in bold or italics, the entire text turns out that way as well. And as Muro observed, I do not own a reliable spell-checker either, meaning that my editing resources at this point are somewhat limited and rudimentary.
As for the odd name, it was meant to highlight the planet's seeming irrelevance. yes,xx is most commonly employed as a place-holder. This is an entity so unworthy of humanity's attention, that it has not even been given a real name.
I should probably have taken more time over this submission, but my schedule is so tight that I had less than a day to get the whole thing together. Again, my apologies for making this such a trying read.
Trying read or not, this was a very nicely done submission. Indeed, planet eaters aren't entirely new, but they're not often done either, so this holds the distinction of being very, very unique.